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British Military Plane Apparently Shot Down by US Missile - 2003-03-23

Britain says a U.S. missile apparently mistakenly shot down a British military plane Sunday, as it returned from a mission over Iraq.

The commander of British forces in the Gulf says the Royal Air Force plane apparently was brought down by a U.S. Patriot air defense missile, as if flew back toward Kuwait.

Air Marshal Brian Burridge told British television what happened. "It looks as though one of our aircraft, returning from an operational mission, was engaged by a U.S. Patriot [missile], obviously by mistake," he said. "That aircraft is now missing, somewhere close to the border with Kuwait. This is a sad moment, but we'll put it behind us as quickly as we can in a military sense, and carry on to our objective."

Before Sunday's incident, 14 British servicemen had been killed in two separate air accidents since the war began on Thursday.